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March 23, 2001

LISTEN TO THE MUSIC OF WOMEN COMPOSERS

LA CROSSE, Wis.-- On the heels of Women’s History Month, Viterbo University is hosting a concert series called the "Music of Women Composers" in April.

The events, which are free and open to the public, feature the work of all ages and styles of women composers.  The series includes:

  • Friday, March 30: Frances Nobert serving as guest artist in Viterbo Music Professor Timothy Schorr’s 12:10-1 p.m. class in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall. Her lecture/demonstration will be titled, "Solo and Four-Hand Piano Music by Women"
  • Sunday, April 1: American Guild of Organists concert: Frances Nobert, 3 p.m., St. Paul's Lutheran Church
  • Tuesday, April 3: Women in Music concert (all-student performers), noon, Fine Arts Center Recital Hall
  • Tuesday, April 3: Faculty recital, 7:30 p.m., Fine Arts Center Recital Hall
  • Wednesday, April 4: Concert- Frances Nobert and UWL Women’s Chorale, Viterbo University Women’s Chorale, Logan and Central high school choirs, 7:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church

Nobert, a friend of Viterbo Music Professor Jean Saladino, is the college organist and Professor Emerita of Music at Whittier College. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Salem College, a master’s of music from Syracuse University, and a doctoral degree in musical arts from the University of Southern California. She has performed nationally and internationally.
Some of the composers whose work will be performed during the concert series include:

Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), a Benedictine monastery abbess, wrote music to serve God. Her parents, as a tithe, consecrated her to the religious life because she was their 10th child.

Francesca Caccini (1587-1630) was the composer of the first Italian opera performed outside Italy. She was the highest paid musician in the Court of Tuscany under three Grand Dukes. Henry IV called her the best singer ever heard in France.

Maria Agata Szymanowksa (1789-1831) was a contemporary of Schubert and Beethoven. She won the title "Royal Pianist of the Court of Russia." Her husband’s disapproval of her career led to a separation. She began earning a living as a piano technique performer and lecturer.

Liza Lehmann (1862-1918) came from a musical family and made a career as a singer appearing at concerts, private parties, and festivals all over Britain. At 32, she gave up singing to marry and began to compose. She was the first woman commissioned to write a musical comedy. W.S. Gilbert (of Gilbert and Sullivan) suggested that they collaborate, but she refused his offer.

Amy Beach (1867-1944) found her place in the mainstream of music but was almost entirely self-taught. She debuted at 16 as a pianist with a Boston orchestra and published her first song that year. She wrote for piano, strings, winds, choral ensemble, and solo voice. In 1924, she became the first president of the Society of American Women Composers.

For more information, contact Saladino at 796- 3771 or email jesaladino@viterbo.edu.

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